No doubt becoming a parent is tricky; if it wasn’t hard enough to take care of yourself, you now have a tiny human dependant on you for every waking moment. Resulting in less time for yourself and the activities you used to enjoy prior to childbirth, which can understandably depress new mothers and ignite feelings of low self-esteem. However, this is common amongst new parents; researchers from the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands surveyed more than 84,000 pregnant women during pregnancy and up to three years after their babies were born.
The results were that even three years after birthing their children, most women still hadn’t regained the self-confidence they had prior to falling pregnant. We’re sure mothers everywhere can relate to this study, as we understand how hard it is to feel confident and beautiful when you spend your days sleep-deprived and covered in sick. Coupled with stubborn baby fat and ill-fitting clothes – it’s easy to feel insecure and have low self-esteem postpartum.
If this sounds familiar, keep reading for a list of tips we’ve compiled to help you regain your confidence and self-esteem after having a baby.
Post-Partum – Start To Introduce Gentle Exercise
Starting to introduce exercise into your life post-partum dramatically depends on whether you had a straightforward birth or a complicated one. If your delivery is straightforward, you can start gentle exercise as soon as you feel ready. We define ‘gentle’ as walking, light stretches, pelvic floor, and tummy exercises. However, keep all movements soft, and wait for your six-week postnatal check before starting any high-impact activity, such as aerobics or running.
Following your child’s birth, you may think that exercise is the last thing you’d want to do, but exercising releases endorphins that trigger a positive response in the body. For instance, runners call the feeling that follows a run a “runner’s high,” as it’s usually accompanied by a cheerful and energising outlook on life, making the runner feel euphoric. Therefore introducing exercise slowly back into your life may help to ease any self- doubt you may have and will undoubtedly put your confidence back on track.
Post-Partum – Nurture Your Body
Similar to exercising, eating healthy is one of the effective things you can do for self-love. Healthy food will help to increase your energy, help burn fat, and if you’re breastfeeding, it will also help keep your little one healthy and strong. You must keep yourself hydrated post-childbirth, especially if you’re breastfeeding; we recommend drinking around 6-10 glasses a day of water, milk, or fruit juice. Try to prepare foods for yourself that are rich in protein, such as dairy products, meat, fish, and grains, as these foods are essential to help you recover from childbirth and keep your strength up. Also, include a portion of vegetables with each meal, aim for half a plateful, as these also contain essential minerals and vitamins that your body needs for recovery.
If you aim to lose weight through healthy eating, make sure you talk to your doctor about doing so safely after your baby is born, as if you are breastfeeding, losing weight too quickly can affect the quality of your breast milk. If you’re struggling to find the time to prepare healthy meals following the birth of your child, you could try quicker alternatives such as low-calorie diet shakes, which are a fast, ideal meal replacement. Check out Shake That Weight and their extensive range of shakes and other meal replacements for more inspiration.
Take Time to Get Out Of the House
Another way to help boost your confidence and self-esteem post-partum is by taking the time to get out of the house and going outside. Being trapped inside the same four walls all day can impact your wellbeing negatively; take the time to schedule daily outings even if you end up taking your baby with you.
We suggest going to a coffee shop or taking the pram out for a walk around your neighbourhood, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, you could also invite a friend for a little bit of normality as we’re sure that they’d love spending time with the little one too.
Make Sure To Schedule You-Time
When you’re a new mother, it’s very easy to put your life on hold while you tend to your little one. However, it’s vital that you don’t allow yourself to be shoved right to the bottom of the priority list and that you take the time to schedule in time for yourself.
Pass the baby onto your partner, a friend, or the grandparents and spend time doing what you like to do; this could be something as simple as having a bath, watching a movie, or grabbing coffee with a friend. It may not seem like much but having those little breaks for yourself help you to feel more in control and should keep any negativity you may be feeling at bay.